Saturday, 9 April 2011

Baby "chilli"

Ok, no actual "chilli" in this but it is a dish inspired by chilli and not actually that far away.  Feel free to customise it, change vegetables or even make it completely vegetarian.  I can imagine making this and gradually adding a little heat to it as he gets older.  Next time though I will probably add pinto beans rather than red kidney beans as pinto beans are softer, the red kidney beans I used were a bit too firm.

Baby "chilli" - Good for babies on mashed / chopped food.  Could puree or part puree for younger babies, I wouldn't feed it to babies who are only just starting solids as the flavours are robust, probably 9 months plus.  Made about 6 portions for my 11 month old.  Could stretch this further by reheating the portion and serving with rice mixed in.


Approx 200g beef mince
1 tin of red kidney beans or pinto beans drained (see above)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 red pepper, chopped finely
1 small courgette, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika (sweet smoked paprika, not spicy. See my comments on the pork stew or use more normal paprika.)
1 tsp paprika (ie sweet not spicy paprika)
Handful butternut squash, diced (optional)
A few sprigs thyme, chopped
A few sprigs oregano, chopped


Fry the beef until browned.  Add to a slow cooker or put into a saucepan.  Fry the onion until translucent and add the courgette and garlic.  Add to the pan or slow cooker.  Add all of the remaining ingredients.

Cook on high for a couple of hours then reduce to low for a further 4 hours or so until everything is soft and well cooked.  If cooking on a hob, it will probably take no longer than an hour, you will probably need to add some water and keep an eye on it to prevent burning and the mince will not be as soft and you may still need to puree.  (Just buy a slow cooker, they're brilliant!)

As the kidney beans were a bit firm, I crushed them a little but apart from that my son was happy to eat it without pureeing or mashing.  He eats whole haricot beans so would have been fine with pinto beans.  From experience though pinto beans do break down a little on cooking so you may need to add some water.

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